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Docking Day for Atlantis

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sun May 16, 2010 8:10 am via: NASA
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(NASA) – Atlantis astronauts prepare to dock with the International Space Station today. Once the two spacecraft are mated, crew members will also start the first of many robotic operations and prepare for the mission’s first spacewalk.

The crew, Commander Ken Ham, Pilot Tony Antonelli and Mission Specialists Garrett Reisman, Michael Good, Steve Bowen and Piers Sellers woke at 3:20 a.m. CDT.

STS-132 Mission Specialist Piers Sellers is seen on the aft flight deck of the Earth-orbiting space shuttle Atlantis. Image credit: NASA

STS-132 Mission Specialist Piers Sellers is seen on the aft flight deck of the Earth-orbiting space shuttle Atlantis. Image credit: NASA

Approximately four hours after wake up, Ham will perform the final burn, called the terminal initiation (TI) burn, to put Atlantis on trajectory to meet the orbiting complex. By 9:26 a.m. Atlantis should be positioned beneath the station to begin the rendezvous pitch maneuver. Station crew members will use two digital cameras to capture detailed images of the shuttle’s underside to ensure it has not been damaged.

Docking to the station is scheduled for 10:27 a.m. with hatch opening about two hours later. Expedition 23 Commander Oleg Kotov, and Flight Engineers Alexander Skvortsov, Mikhail Kornienko, Soichi Noguchi, T.J. Creamer and Tracy Caldwell Dyson, will welcome the shuttle crew onboard and provide them with a station safety briefing before beginning the first tasks of the joint mission.

Caldwell Dyson and Sellers will use the station’s robotic arm to move the Integrated Cargo Carrier from the payload bay to the station’s mobile transporter. This will enable the carrier and its attached hardware to be prepositioned for use throughout the mission.

Good, Bowen and Reisman will transfer the spacesuits and spacewalk equipment over to the station’s Quest airlock and begin setting up for the first spacewalk.

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